Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hunter's Seaholly Star

It is always a good feeling to take a quilt off the frame. 

My challenge with this quilt was to use time saving techniques on a longarm that Angela Waters shared in her class this past summer. as little marking as possible. I was definitely doing some extreme marking.

I had intended to use one variegated thread throughout but the need to use a light and a dark thread screamed at me pretty early in the quilting so I switched to using two threads...that led to a lot more stopping and starting than I had planned. It is a start to speeding up my quilting process.

Half of my studio lights are turned off for the next two pictures to show more shadowing on the quilting. No sunshine in the forecast for natural lighting pictures.

Months...possibly years ago...I was inspired by the quilting done by Michelle at mmm Quilts when she did a Hunters Star design quilted in a mock wedding ring look. It really stuck with me so almost from day one in making this quilt I had a good idea what my quilting would have rings.

If you check out the link to Michelle's blog you will get the added bonus of seeing her quilting on a client's quilt done in my pattern Batiki Argyle. Love that rich purple background. Yummy.

I've been trying to stay consistently working on my Bucilla projects in the evening. As Christmas draws nearer my readership on my Facebook page increases with questions on making these kits. 

I started this kit, Santa Delivers the Mail, on August 15th and predicted it would take me two weeks to finish it. Got it done on  August 29th.  I just worked on it in the evenings, one to three hours a night. Technically...I guess it isn't done...still need to make it a stocking but I tend to add the stocking backs in mid-October, doing all the kits I have made since last Christmas. 

I've made four stocking tops since last Christmas and three ornament sets. My personal goal is ten Bucilla kits a year. Three more to go. I think I can do it! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Need A Time Machine

Hello. It has been much for my plans to blog more frequently. 

I have started down another rabbit hole. Like many quilters...I was originally a garment sewer. As a young professional I made all my clothes. Then I became a stay-at-home mom so I converted to a  jeans and T-shirt wardrobe. I have one small box of clothing patterns I saved.

A blast from the 80s...I loved this pattern. Never made any of it. The top still interest me. Maybe I can length it to wear with leggings...those super baggy pants aren't in "Vogue" anymore. And of course I love that is says it is a "Paris Original." Excellent!

My renewed interest in sewing garments was mainly ignited by reading another quilter's blog, Suz at All The Good Ones Are Taken. She made some really cute dresses for her work wardrobe.

I have also been noticing all that pretty batik rayon fabric showing up on websites and in my local quilt shops. So...I went pattern shopping. Wow...prices have really jumped in 20 years. The patterns were 40% off at JoAnns so I grabbed a few. The pattern from the 1980s above retailed at $9.50. The most expensive pattern I bought a few days ago was $30...before the discount. Even 25 years ago you never bought a pattern at full price. Some things never change...there is always a sale on patterns.

Back to the new patterns. My favorite of the bunch is the top below that really looks fun. It has a knit base that you layer with three different fabrics you texture with pleats and yarn. Nothing new here...I have always gravitated to challenging projects and almost always changed up the original patterns.

Some more practical designs, basic tops that should work well with rayon batiks that I can pair with leggings. I do wear mostly leggings in the winter time...easy to slip my snow pants over for a quick walk outside.

I have a few pieces of fabric left from my garment sewing days that I might be able to resurrect. These are a stash of hand dyed Cherrywood cottons that have a wonderful suede texture. 

Here's a vest I made 25 years ago out of  a Cherrywood colorway. 

Please sewing me actually follow through on my clothing plans!

I found this pretty batik rayon yardage on sale via the internet. Pretty scary to open up this Pandora's Box of sewing clothing again...

I have been trying to finish a quilt but I seem to have gotten sidetracked for almost a week now. And...Breakfast Club is Thursday (no idea what I will work on...sigh) and I am going to the state fair on Friday to see how my quilts have done this year. I entered three pieces. Maybe I can enter garments next year! (I do need my head examined.)

I always seem to have time to buy more fabric. I have been eyeing this set of strips for months and they went on sale so I just had to buy them...these are the interior colors of my house. 

On a sad note, my Tutto sewing machine cart needs a wheel replaced. The new parts came promptly several months ago but it requires using a rivet gun to make the repair. After months a waiting for my airplane mechanic son to help me...I am giving up and planning to ship it to Tutto for repairs. I really need this fixed by gets dragged through the snow and ice at the quilt shop...might be why  I need a new wheel.

Here's hoping I do a little better at blogging more regularly...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ricky Tims Master Class Lecture

We are so fortunate in Anchorage to have a fantastic quilt shop, Seams Like Home, that brings internationally renowned quilters to our part of the world. I attended Ricky Tims' two-day lecture  on Friday and Saturday. Those two days were the warmest and sunniest of the entire summer so would have been torture to be inside all day...but Ricky rocked my little quilting world and I didn't want to miss a minute of his lecture.

Above is the cover to the 120-page syllabus/book that comes with the lecture series. It is like getting four separate quilt books and covering all the details of those books in two day. It was intense.

Normally, he brings a trailer load of quilts to his lectures but since he flew to Alaska he brought a smaller sampling. We were allowed to touch all the quilts...really inspect them. One of my favorites was his self portrait.

He shared four unique binding or finishing techniques he created...two of them work great for pieces without straight edges.

The show stopper was his Bohemian Rhapsody quilt. I definitely want to explore his techniques for making this style of quilt. There were no seams to make the pointed corners. Definitely a master with his machine. 

There were several moments where I thought, "Why didn't I think of that???"

Ricky is a great entertainer. If you get a chance to take his it.